PI Advice

PI Advice

LIFE AND WORK IN THE USA

Housing

Upon your arrival, a PI manager will assist you with your accommodation. They will present you with a few possible rental choices. Important: Please be aware that most housing requires a security deposit plus first month's rent to be paid prior to move-in. Please ensure you are prepared for this expense as it may be considerable.

Register with PI ~ SEVIS

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a student tracking system. In order to maintain the integrity of this tracking system, US law requires that you register with SEVIS within 72 hours of your arrival and inform CETUSA of any address change within 10 days of establishing a new residential address. If you violate this law, your J-1 visa is subject to termination.
Important: PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER WITH SEVIS UNTIL YOU ARE IN THE U.S.
To register with SEVIS you need to send us your current address and contact number.
Email us (info@placement-int.com).

Social Security Number (SSN)

All participants who have not previously been granted a Social Security Number must apply for one. Be sure to request a temporary certificate when you apply for your card. This document is proof that you have applied. Your Social Security Number should be mailed to you within 4-6 weeks from the date of your application. There might be some delays in the state of Alaska during the summer season.
Important: It is very important that you register with Placement International, before you apply for your Social Security Number.
Contacting the Social Security Administration? Call toll-free 1-800-772-1213 or visit their website at www.ssa.gov.

I-9 – Employment Eligibility Verification Form

Your employer will require you to complete an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form to prove you can legally work in the U.S.. This form must be completed before you begin your training program. Remember: Check the box "an alien authorized to work until" and enter the expiration date as indicated on the pink copy of your DS-2019. You will need to show your passport, DS-2019 and I-94 card to your Host Company or supervisor, who witnesses you signing this document.

W-4 Form

When you begin your job, your employer will ask you to complete a Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate) to ensure that you are taxed appropriately. Your employer will use the information on this form to determine how much tax should be withheld from your paycheck.

  • If you do not fill out your Form W-4 properly, you may have to pay more tax in the future
  • Please note that you are classified as a "non-resident alien"
  • Do not claim "Exempt" withholding status on line 7
  • You will need to fill out a new W-4 Form if you change employers

Taxes and Tax Return

Taxes: are obligated to pay regular federal, state and city tax. However, you do not have to pay withholdings for Social Security, Medicare and Federal Unemployment tax.

Tax Return: The US tax year begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st. In the beginning of February, your employer will send you a Form W-2, detailing your total wages and the amount of each tax withheld. You must receive a W-2 from each of your employers since you will be required to submit copies of the form with your tax returns. If you have not received your W-2 forms by February 28th, you should contact your employers for replacement. When you receive your W-2, you will have to fill out a tax return form. The deadline for filing tax return forms is April 15th.

Legal Information

You are a visitor to the US but the law still applies to you. You need to be aware of and respect all the U.S. federal, state and local laws just as you would do at home. You are fully responsible for any crimes or violations you commit. This means you are fully responsible for any and all expenses involved with defending yourself if you are arrested and any penalties, prison sentences or monetary fines that apply to your conviction.

Important: YOU SHOULD AVOID SUCH PROBLEMS AS:

  • Illegal drug possession - you are subject to fines and possible time in jail for any possession of drugs or association with people who are dealing or selling drugs
  • Underage drinking of alcohol - the legal drinking age in the US is 21 years old. In many cases, if you purchase or are served alcoholic beverages, you will be asked to prove that you are of legal drinking age. Identification with photo will be required. It is illegal to drink alcohol and drive a motor vehicle in the US
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Destruction of property
  • Shoplifting (stealing)

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